Steelers vs Bills Film Review: Stephon Tuitt

Rookie Stephon Tuitt started his first preseason game at left defensive end due to injury, but he was back with the second-team defensive line last week when the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Buffalo Bills.

Of course, he also played with the first-team defense when they went to their sub-packages, lining up alongside Cameron Heyward in those instances. But the defense played more in its base last week than in the week before, and, other than the chase-down tackle after the Ryan Shazier slip, not much of note came with his time playing with the starters against the Bills.

The real meat of his performance did not show itself until the second-team defense took the field late in the second quarter, and it didn’t take long to show itself either.

On his first snap at left defensive end, he showed excellent technique by walking down the line with right tackle Erik Pears, remaining perpendicular as he did so, and then peeling off the block to make the tackle after a short gain.

Tuitt gained good penetration on the next play as well, but the Steelers played in their sub-package unit for the remainder of the half, with Tuitt off to the sideline.

Midway through the third quarter, a turnover and a pass interference penalty put the Bills on the one-yard line with first and goal. Even though they managed to score on second down, Tuitt did well defending on these two plays.

The Bills attacked right in his direction on first down, but along with Daniel McCullers, the defensive line held and kept the running back out of the end zone. Absorbing a double team off the snap, Tuitt peeled off to his left to get low and fall on the running back trying to plow his way into the end zone.

The Bills attacked the other side of the line on second down, but Tuitt nearly got down the line fast enough to make the play once again. And he probably would have, had the running back not leapt into the air to break the plane.

After the offense went three and out, the defense stepped up and did the same to the Bills. Here on second down, Tuitt was able to work the right guard back into the pocket, which helped produce an errant throw from the quarterback that set up third and long.

Finally, Tuitt’s penetration on this stretch run forced the ball carrier to step back and then try to bounce the run outside. Though he ultimately managed to get back to the line of scrimmage, it’s a credit mostly to Tuitt that this play didn’t go for positive yardage.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Steelers12328882

    I really like the 2-4-5 look with Tuitt and Heyward in there. I hope he stays in there now that Keisel was signed.

  • dkoy85

    Love this kid!

  • Crowned

    The kid is a beast. Cam Thomas is doing his thing also which makes it a good battle. Kiesel needs to just stay behind Heyward and spell him every once in a while.

  • ApexSteel

    Like I said before I hope Keisel doesn’t take any of his reps.

  • Chad H

    I believe Tuitt will be starting by mid season maybe sooner.

  • steeltown

    Cant believe this kid just turned 21yrs old in May

  • steeltown

    Yea I think Keisel is the ultimate insurance plan. What if Cam Thomas and Tuitt both fall victim to injury..or what if (god forbid) Heyward goes down, we have really good depth now with Tuitt, Cam Thomas, Keisel and might I add Mauro

  • PA2AK

    lol great comment…as I remember (or try to) what I was doing at 21…

  • PA2AK

    I have to think this is the plan. I’m sure Keisel will get in the mix, but they have always shuffled guys in and out when they had them available. I really don’t see him being a #1 or #2 at any position.

  • steeltown

    He could still be #2 at RDE behind Heyward

  • PA2AK

    I guess so…just not a fan of that.

  • steeltown

    I say that because it appears CamT and Tuitt are manning the LDE position

  • keth naab

    i have this bad feeling that we end up moving Heyward to LDE and give Keisel back his RDE position while Tuitt gets to “learn” from a distance (i.e. the bench) on far too many snaps

  • steeltown

    I doubt it. If they liked Keisel that much they probably would’ve re-signed him long ago

  • sean mcmartin

    If Keisel does take playing time away from anyone, And the Steelers make the playoffs or more. It is all worth it. A Veteran giving it one last season might be a good thing for this team.

  • Luis Garcia

    Dang! Love these analysis so much work and dedication. Thanks!

  • Luis Garcia

    Power rotation. But keep Mauro and McCullers!

  • Brendon Glad

    He really looks the part…when us fans lament the end of Aaron Smith. All i’m saying is he looks the part. Same thing I said about JH when we were lamenting not having Greg Lloyd’s presence anymore. Not that anyone compared Hood to Smith…but I specifically remember Casey Hampton raving about Hood as a rookie….and then it stagnated. So hopefully his development will look a lot more like Aaron Smith’s, than it does Ziggy Hood’s.

  • Nick Sabatella

    thomas and tuitt are outshining heywayd this preseason IMO

    Tuitt is looking really stout, aaron smith-y …. and Cam thomas is making plays